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Control/Dimming Light board: EDI Bijou

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by sammyj, May 14, 2009.

  1. sammyj

    sammyj Member

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    Has anyone ever used a bijou light board before? I used to use one at my school. they are top quality light boards and I was wondering what other people's opinions were on this particular light board.:):)
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Here are two threads: http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting/11929-bijou-lightboard-v-2-11-help.html and http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting/11870-bijou-plus.html. Typing "Bijou" into CB's search box will turn up more mentions of the board.
    That is debatable.:neutral: Currently the top tier of US stage lighting control manufacturers (both in quantity and quality) consists of ETC, Strand, and Leviton (and Leviton's quality may be questionable, but they make up for it in quantity of low-bid secondary school contracts).

    Manufacturer of the Bijou, Electronics Diversified Inc. (EDI), is solidly at the top of the second tier manufacturers, which would also include Lehigh, Leprecon, and Teatronics. While the equipment may be adequate, very few installations of the second tier manufacturers exist outside of educational institutions, or appear in the lighting rental market.

    Intentionally speaking of only "theatrical" control consoles, and purposefully excluding HES/Barco, Martin, MA Lighting, etc.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  3. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You may come across my posts in some of the threads [user]derekleffew[/user] cited above also.

    I used a Bijou once as a rental board and it was pretty decent. It operated much like an Express series and was not a bad alternative. It was a little dirty and gritty feeling, but that was probably the previous renters' / rental house's fault. Overall, I wouldn't be kicking and screaming if I had to use one again. It wasn't a bad board at all. Kind of a cool design too.

    Oh and their tech support is helpful too. We had some trouble getting it patched correctly (rental house provided no manual) but a phone call and a few key presses had us up and running.

    Derek, how would you classify Zero88? Especially with their up and coming Orb console. Looks and sounds interesting...
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    No.
    The Bijou is a good reliable board for a school, church, or very small theater, on a budget. But, as Derek said, it's definitely a second tier product. Personally it would be my third choice of a console behind ETC and Strand (I'm not a fan of Leviton. Just because they sell more boards than EDI doesn't mean they are a better product). I've seen EDI gear work for WAY too many years. Good well built equipment. It's very similar to an ETC Express... which is the most popular light board ever made. It's no where near as advanced in technology as any of the New consoles from ETC or Strand. But there's nothing wrong with it for a wide variety of school and small low budget theater setups. I think it's a great board to learn the basics on too.

    At LDI last fall my personal mission was to find a good low budget light board that I could recommend. I looked at a lot of boards and the Bijou was my favorite. Leprecon and Lehigh had some very nice boards as well but they were priced up in the same range as the low end stuff from ETC and Strand and were not nearly as impressive.
     
  5. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Well this seems like its going to turn into an interesting discussion.

    Personally I think ETC would be the top tier product with the Eos and Ion line (have not used the Element, cannot comment on it). I would consider the strand Palette line to be a 1.5 tier (could be personal preference, but I do not like the way the system is set up, the console would not work the way I wanted it to, and it became a matter of tricking the console into doing it).
    Second tier I would consider the manual, two scene preset leviton consoles.
    Third tier might be the Zero88 systems, I spent some time on a Frog a while back and was not impressed.

    That is for theater with few movers. For concerts, my first choice would be a Hog. I only spent around half an hour playing with a MA, but I was impressed with what I saw. Honestly, second and third tier for concerts would probably be some semblance of a Hog PC system with wings, the bang for your buck is fairly excellent.

    I have never touched a Bijou, but what I have heard of them never made me excited to.
     
  6. MNBallet

    MNBallet Active Member

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    I've come across some on my tours. They're not a bad board, easy to use. I'd give them a "B+" rating.

    Kenneth Pogin
    Production / Tour Manager
    Minnesota Ballet
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    There are lots of old threads like this. You'll find we almost all agree that ETC is number one for conventional lighting. Some (such as Cirque Du Soleil by the way) like Strand's more than ETC. While most put them a little behind, depending a lot on your application. You'll find Strand lovers are die hard and it's a lot like the PC vs. MAC debate. Currently, ETC and Strand are in a serious battle with consoles that are very similar in ability, price, and features. You may not like how a feature or particular console works for your specific application but no other console on the market is close to Ion/Eos/Element/Palette/LightPalette in what these consoles can do and how they do it.

    On the concert side, there is no clear winner between MA and Hog. Both are well loved and I think it becomes a programing style choice.

    Beyond that it's a MASSIVE battle where very few of us agree. We have people that Love NSI and people that hate NSI, people that Love Leprecon and people that hate Leprecon... go right on down the line. Name any of these other brands and I can find you someone who hates it and someone who loves it. I think the problem is there are significantly less of these other brands consoles out there. So most of us are basing our experience with the gear on one show we did that had that brand. It's easy to say we all love the Express. It's hard to compare notes on the Bijou when half of us have never seen one and of the few of us who have used it, it wasn't more than once.

    We have tried for years to agree on who makes a good middle of the road second tier console for those on a budget that don't want to buy a bad console... it's just not possible to find consensus.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Trying my best to appear unbiased...

    Of late, they seem to prefer neither of the above.:evil:

    Unless one is speaking of the ten top grossing tours of 2008.:twisted:
     
  9. echnaret

    echnaret Member

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  10. DimmerDotCom

    DimmerDotCom Active Member

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    And to boot they are sending you to the library page on one of my web sites.
     
  11. Tim Ardner

    Tim Ardner Member

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    My high school originally had one of these consoles. It was the worst thing ever! During my high school's 2013 musical, on the FINAL night of dress rehearsal, the house lights suddenly went out. The console had shut itself off, and ALL the programmed lighting cues were erased! It was the WORST lightmare ever! Another console had to be rented and reprogrammed before opening night! Despite the entire director panicking and the crew all worried about this, the SPORTS have the nice facilities. This space has NO fly system, despite having dead hung orchestra clouds that LOVE to get in the way! An ETC Element now takes the place of this old piece of crap!
     
  12. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Tell us how you really feel!
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  13. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    ...and in 2031 after 15 years of neglect, no maintenance or repair (as happens to most high school light boards) that Element will break down too, lose it's cues, and someone else will have to rent another console and reprogram their show. Then they will come on CB and complain about what a piece of junk that Element is. EDI has been out of business for close to 5 years now. The Bijou was on the market for around 15 years before that. It's an old light board. Most pros will tell you light boards should be replaced after about 7-10 years as even the best become unreliable eventually.

    Old light boards break down. When they do you have to quickly rent another console and throw your show file back together. It isn't fun when it happens to you, but it happens. When it does happen, it doesn't justify blasting a budget priced product that has served reliably for more than a decade and call it crap. On the contrary, the fact that a budget priced console like the Bijou was still working 10, 15, possibly 20 years after it was purchased is something that should be applauded. It was actually a well built, long lasting product.
     
  14. TJCornish

    TJCornish Well-Known Member

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    Um... so you had trouble loading from your backup file, too?

    For the record, for the last several years now I've had many more failures of things that were 0-1 years old than my older equipment. Stuff breaks. Have backups of your data and show-critical gear.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.

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